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Old 07-30-2012, 08:48 AM
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Default Redemption and progress all in one hook set for a newb

I had a great experience last week that I just had to share, and seeing as to how tips and tonnes of useful information from the members of this site made my experience possible I figured I should do my best to pass this story on to you guys.

Into my second month of fly fishing now, and I am definitely seeing some progression in my skills. I still haven't caught any trout bigger then about a half pound, so I still have some work to do, but the numbers are definitely there, which is making the learning process so much more enjoyable.

Anyway, a buddy of mine recently took me out to a beautiful little spot I was completely unaware of for a very productive and enjoyable session of fly fishing. There were some nice pools along a stretch of this water way and some really nice sized trout holding in said pools. I decided I would work this section for a couple of days straight so that I could process what the fish were doing and hopefully get hooked into something of size. Here is a pic of a nice pool section below some moving water that I focused in on during my 3 day sessions.

Click the image to open in full size.

There was some very nice sized trout along the back of the pool towards the log, and although the pic doesn't show it clearly there is a collection of foam just on the far side of the log that some of the lunkers were rising into gobbling up insects. I started to obsess about getting my dry fly into said foam in the hope that one of these lunkers would choose my fly as a meal. The problem was casting accuracy. I seemed to either come up short of the foam or bomb my fly well over, which of course led to me getting hooked into quite a few logs and sticks that put up some nice fights, but no fish. Un-hooking from some of these objects definitely spooked the prey so I would have to move up stream for a while. As soon as the trout started to break the water I would creep back down in full stealth mode to again have a try at them.

At the last pass through this section on my first day I finally had a good accurate cast and my little Irresistible Adams fly swung right into the foam. All of a sudden a trout came up and tried to smash my fly, but in all the excitement I lifted up my rod too early and took the fly away from the fish before it had a chance to swallow it. I was completely disgusted with myself but at the same time I knew that the fish didn't taste the hook so if I could get the fly back to where it was I may have one final shot. Next cast out was even better then the first, I waited for the swing through the foam, and again the trout took the fly. This time I let the fish have it, and when fly and fish disappeared under the water I stripped in the line and successfully hooked the fish. (This method was one I had never tried, but after reading through the forums I noticed it was suggested for down stream hook ups)

Now because of where the fish was holding I had to try and bully him away from the big log and surrounding obstacles. I was able to pull him into the middle of the pool, but just as I had done so he came up out of the water and shook my fly loose right in front of my eyes. I couldn't describe to you the feelings that were going through my head. I was proud that I had presented the fly in such a way that the fish took it (twice) but obviously upset that I was unable to bring the targeted fish to hand. I lost sleep over this that night.

On my second day out there was zero top water action in this pool, and with the obstructions above and under the water in that area, and me still learning I thought it was best to avoid sending a sub-surface fly down into the mess only to get tangled and cause frustration. I instead focused on a nice set of rifles upstream where the rainbows were holding. I had no issue coaxing rainbows to take my dry flies all morning. Walking away from the water on that second day it bothered me that I still was skunked in that pool, even though the number of rainbows I pulled out upstream got into double digits.

Day 3 started out with promise. I got out early filled with anticipation and a good coffee buzz. When I arrived at the hole I was instantly excited to see fish breaking water all over this little pool. I got my fly out there as soon as I could. First cast was a little short of the foam, but managed to land a nice brook trout anyway. It was only about 7 inches, and not worth bragging about, but it was a good sign. After the commotion of the first catch I decided to wait a few minutes along the bank to let the pool settle. Once I seen the next break in the foam line I launched my fly back out and it landed perfectly upstream of the target area. I let it dead drift down into the foam and ever so slightly forced the fly to make it's swing. It started to swing dangerously close to the log when all of a sudden a fish exploded out of the water to take my fly. I again used the advice from members here and gave the fish a second to head back down with my fly before stripping the line to force the hook up. This time luck was on my side and I was able to again force the trout away from the logs and obstructions that would have potentially caused me to lose him. After four days on this water I finally landed a beautiful half pound brook trout. It definitely wasn't the biggest fish in the pool, but in one hook set I felt relief, redemption, and progress in my skills.

Now unfortunately for me I didn't have my camera close by, so the fish was released without me getting any sort of proof, so when I told my buddy he instantly called me out for it. Doesn't really matter though, as I now have peace of mind that I was able to land one from an area that I had problems with (and missed opportunities)

Sorry for the amount of words it took to get this story into a thread, and the lack of pictures to accompany this report. Just wanted to again thank everyone from this forum community, as your suggestions, tips, and information really helps a guy like me progress my skills and knowledge of this addiction called fly fishing.
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Old 07-30-2012, 11:47 AM
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Default Re: Redemption and progress all in one hook set for a newb

Congratulations on the success! That looks like a very fishy spot! And don't worry about no photos, the most important photo is the one in your mind. You'll get photos of the next ones.
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Old 07-30-2012, 12:08 PM
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Default Re: Redemption and progress all in one hook set for a newb

Proof? You dont need to prove anything to anyone! This is why I don't get why people fib about the size of a fish they caught. All that matters is what I know I caught and that is what excites me, not what anyone else thinks. Shoot, for me a trophy is an 8" native brookie. I do get excited about 18" bows and browns but they don't do it for me like the brookies do!
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Old 07-30-2012, 12:31 PM
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Default Re: Redemption and progress all in one hook set for a newb

Great report!

The brookies would like hanging right under the log and that never makes it easy. I'm happy to see another PEI member here and don't believe I had welcomed you so her it is, welcome to the forum. Have you considered fishing for salters this fall? They will give the best opportunity for a really nice brook trout perhaps. As far as the picture thing goes.........it's hard when you're alone. You've got to make up your mind whether you're fishing or photographing fish and the two don't always come together as well as we would like. Some of my best fish have went without a photo but like Alex said, I'm doing it because I enjoy it and if there is no proof then that's the way it is.

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Old 07-30-2012, 01:40 PM
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Default Re: Redemption and progress all in one hook set for a newb

Awesome report & story! Brings back memories of my early attempts at catching anything!

Congratulations on the success, but more so on the progress. You'll find that as you gain knowledge, and sharpen the skills, the successes will become more frequent too!

Keep at, and don't get too upset over failures. There was a point in my fly fishing history when I realized I probably learned more from lack of success than I did from the few successes I had! As long as you're learning, then there is success.

I'll be looking forward to your next report!
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Old 07-31-2012, 08:03 AM
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Default Re: Redemption and progress all in one hook set for a newb

Ard,

I am definitely going to be on the hunt for salters this fall, and salmon for that matter. I got into fly fishing too late for the early run, but in some spots there are both a summer and fall run, so I am constantly on the search for them. The island just got done with the gaspereau run, and everything I've been hearing is that once they leave the inland waters, the salmon and sea trout begin heading in. In the mean time I have no problem landing smaller fish, as I consider each fight a practice session / test regardless of the size of the fish on the other end. I know that at some point during this season I will encounter and catch a river monster, just want to stay sharp for when that moment arrives.

I also think that with the experiences I have had so far I will definitely be investing in a smaller weight rod before next season. When I got into it and bought my first outfit, everything I was reading and every ones advice was to get a 5wt, which works great. I do however think that with the majority of fish I put to hand being smaller then 12" a smaller weight rod would make these encounters much more thrilling.

In other news, I got back out to the same stretch of water yesterday with my buddy who didn't believe my success. We went right to back to the pool and foam line and took turns working the pool and working the rifles upstream from it. 2nd cast i sent out into the foam and a nice 16" rainbow exploded out of the foam and engulfed my fly. This time I again used the strip hook set method (which by the way has increased my strike-to-hook up ratio by more then double when fishing downstream and across) and successfully brought him to hand after an acrobatic fight that had my heart racing. Definitely the biggest fish I have brought to hand with my fly gear, and this time with the audience that had doubted my previous tale. Glorious. Funny thing was, my camera was dead, so I didn't get a picture again, so I'm glad I had him out with me for it.
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:03 AM
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Default Re: Redemption and progress all in one hook set for a newb

Got back out to my new favorite little foam hole yesterday. Managed plenty of fish throughout the afternoon. None of any shocking size or anything. I was again successful hooking up with fish hiding under the foam line while I was there. I hooked into three under the foam - landing 2. A nice brookie (considering the fight I thought he would be bigger) and a nice rainbow, different type of fight with aerials a plenty but just as fun.

The third fish I'm still not entirely sure what happened. I felt a healthy pull as my fly swung across the foam. I set the hook and felt the fish on for about 5 seconds, then I felt like I was snagged. I thought maybe it was a log the whole time, so I start wading into the pool to unhook myself and all of a sudden it feels like the log is taking line from me. Next thing you know I see a big tail come up out of the water and thrash around. I try bullying whatever I hooked out of the trouble area, but it immediately felt again like a giant tree. I keep wading out to the submerged log in front of the foam and I figure out quickly what must have happened. My fly was in fact snagged on a submerged log, but it was wrapped around the log 3 full times. Would have liked to have instant replay on that one to see exactly what happened, as I am still not certain on how the fish managed to have enough slack line to still be hooked but wrap me around a log multiple times. Oh well, guess that's why they call it fishing and not catching.

This time I had my camera on the ready and was able to get some close ups with some of the elusive foam inhabitants...

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 08-09-2012, 12:13 PM
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Default Re: Redemption and progress all in one hook set for a newb

Quote:
Originally Posted by trout_onfly_junkie View Post
I had a great experience last week that I just had to share, and seeing as to how tips and tonnes of useful information from the members of this site made my experience possible I figured I should do my best to pass this story on to you guys.
I live down in Central Florida and have no clue about the kind of fishing you are doing up there. You seem to, however, and I congratulate you on your progress up the learning curve.

You also have a great way of expressing yourself in writing. I guess that doesn't mean much on a forum like this but I wanted to thank you for your story.

All the best, etc.

RVC
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Old 08-09-2012, 01:08 PM
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Default Re: Redemption and progress all in one hook set for a newb

Thanks for sharing and congrats on your progress.
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Old 08-09-2012, 01:56 PM
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Default Re: Redemption and progress all in one hook set for a newb

Very good story and pictures, thank you!

I caught my first brown trout in PEI when I was 14 or 15 on a trip there, shortly after moving to Maine from Florida. I really loved that place.

The man who owned the motel where we were staying also fly fished and took me to a small lake somewhere that contained "Austrian" brown trout he said. As I recall, they had kind of a blueish color to them. There was not a single person fishing there, and trout were rising everywhere. He also steered me onto a small brook just loaded with ocean-run brookies that was within walking distance of the motel. I still remember his name after all these years.

It was definitely a beautiful and very serene place with friendly people. The ocean water was much warmer than that in Maine too, and there weren't any black flies.

Thanks again for the story. It brought back fond memories.
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